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The OOXML Fiasco: Updates from 3 Countries That Protested

Posted in Africa, Asia, ECMA, Europe, ISO, Microsoft at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

Here are some of the latest developments in the OOXML saga. These are minor developments, but nonetheless, they are noteworthy.

United Kingdom

Below you can find some concrete proof of the deficiencies of the legal system. Only those who can afford to pursue justice will ever actually see it. On the face of it, financial constraints may stand in a way of unmasking the dodgy process carried out by the BSI.

“The decision to publish or not ISO/IEC DIS 29500 as an ISO/IEC International Standard cannot be taken until the outcome of the appeals is known,” said an ISO statement on Thursday. 29500 refers to Microsoft’s standard.

Williams said there was still a case for the UKUUG’s appeal on the grounds that there had been “procedural irregularities” in the BSI’s decision to back OOXML. The BSI had supported the Microsoft standard after clearing a consensus vote in its favour among members. The UKUUG told the court there had been no consensus because one member, IBM’s Ian Larner, had abstained after long opposition to OOXML’s ratification.

For some information about what the BSI did, see:

Based on sources of ours, Alex Brown too was involved in the BSI this time around. Alex Brown [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21] is meanwhile planning to deliver the his truth on this subject, so he rightly gets criticised early on.

Your description seems to imply that somehow you, unlike others, can deliver the truth. In all fairness you should recognize that whatever you say is your own view and is subject to the same level of questioning as what anybody else says. You don’t own the truth more than anybody else and what is considered information by one can be seen as misinformation by others.

For example, you’ve generated your own share of misinformation with your claims about ODF compliance that are disputed by Rob Weir.

This talk is due to take place in the UK. What story will he tell? We have seen many times before how Microsoft rewrites history (whitewashing) to bury its embarrassing stories of sheer corruption. The ISO, unsurprisingly, just follows this herd.

South Africa

South Africa was one of the nations that appealed against ISO’s decision. There will soon be an XML workshop over there. Here are the names of those who will attend.

Participants will include representatives from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector. The South African Burea of Standards, which lodged the first official appeal against the ISO process to make Microsoft’s OOXML an international standard, will also be participating.

Microsoft South Africa, IBM, Sun Microsystems and the Meraka Institute are sponsors of the event and entry to all the workshop and tutorial sessions will be free to the public.

Patrick Durusau is the editor of OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.2 at OASIS, while Rob Weir is the co-chair of the OASIS ODF Technical Committe. Steve Pepper is represented Norway on ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34, the ISO subcommittee for document description languages, since 1995, and convened the Topic Maps Working Group since it was founded.

There may be some more information in this article.


The other day we mentioned very briefly the departure of Microsoft’s managing director in India. Possible reasons for this are finally approaching the surface.

Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director of Microsoft India, will leave the company as of 30 June. Some media sources cite the Indian ooxml debacle as a reason.


In relation to the failure of Microsoft India to get a positive vote outcome Neelam Dhawan’s bail out casts a negative light on the company. If standard setting gets performance based and a standard is not let through due to its technical merits but the fear of managing staff to lose its position it comes at no surprise that the management will fight with all means for the adoption of suboptimal solutions. Microsoft India even filed a complaint against the standard body No vote that caused the outrage.

For detailed information about what happened in India, see the links at the bottom. Here is a photo from a protest which this series of scandals from Microsoft India eventually led to.

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

Related readings:

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